Letter: Monumental breakdown

George Linardos
St. Augustine, Florida

Dear Historic City News editor:

What is taking place in our country today goes much deeper than what any small group of the alt-left or alt-right is upset with.

After seeing the stupidly of a very small group of my fellow Americans over the past week toppling monuments I needed to express my regret and disdain for what is taking place. Their lawlessness has nothing to do with what is right or wrong, their false perceptions of the Confederate States of America or good and evil, but rather their hate has everything to do with their lack of tolerance and anarchical behavior putting at risk their fellow countrymen, woman and children.

The destruction of statues dedicated to the Confederate Army by those who lived through the period and/or by their immediate descendants has nothing to do with oppression. Those who rally violently to remove these monuments, and now monuments and dedications of other non-confederate historical figures or periods, are no better than the terrorists who attack the world on a daily basis over self-created dangerous or flawed ideologies. Any and all demonstrated hatred and violence that is contradictory to our Constitution and history needs to be overtly condemned and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

The sanitizing and/or tearing down of our history has its consequences. First monuments, then removal of books from libraries, and then the 1st Amendment itself is diminished and ignored. Sound familiar? Remember Pre-Nazi Germany, The Japanese Empire, Fascism, ISIS, and all the other totalitarian regimes -past and present America has fought and bled against. Where do you think it starts? Take a look around you.

Benjamin Franklin is quoted as responding to a woman who queried of him as he left Independence Hall on the final day of deliberation of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, “Well doctor, what have we got -a Republic or a Monarchy?” To which Franklin responded, “A republic if you can keep it”! We are not doing a very good job protecting what we were given. It won’t be long before we sanitize our Founding Fathers out of existence. Thanks to our Founding Fathers, we possess in our Constitutional Republic and our coveted Bill of Rights, included in same our “Freedom of Speech”, “Freedom of Expression” and our “Freedom of (not from) Religion”, that other societies can only yearn for.

Pusillanimous elected officials across the country cave to partisan political pressures and seek to erase American history because it seems politically expedient. History is not there for us to love or hate, but for us to learn from. Remember what you learned, and our kids and their kids, should have learned in school or at home: “If you ignore your history or try to sweep it under the rug you are bound to repeat it”. Throughout history ignoring one’s past and appeasement have always led to future violence.

Just look at our country today and how divided it is across the board. Not just left or right, republican or democrat, black or white, etc. We are splintered into factions because no one tolerates being disagreed with (including within our National Congress and State Houses) while hate and political posturing has taken over from reason. If we want to condemn groups such as the neo-Nazis, White Supremacist and others, then we must also condemn groups such as BLM, Antifa, and other groups disguised as wanting to unite our country when in fact they are antagonizers.

Hoods and masks are the signs of cowards and those hiding behind them perpetrating violence and destruction of property need to be called out. We cannot engage in selective enforcement rooted in ideological political philosophies. We need to stop the cherry picking and all such organizations should be investigated and seen for what they are – hate groups. If we don’t stop the blatant hypocrisy, which is truly the problem, then we’re sitting on a powder keg that will lead to (including our Revolutionary War) a third civil war in America.

Our family fabric is being destroyed daily by Hollywood, the media and our failed family court systems. Our educational systems, which in most cases do not require American History as a core course anymore, robs our children of where we came from and how we got here as Americans. It has failed its charge of a well rounded educational experience by trying to appease every individual’s “PC” wants rather than our society as a whole. When our courts removed God and religion from our schools as an unacceptable precept our county’s moral character decline was not far behind.

“A little education is a very dangerous thing.” Reacting to a headline or byline without knowing the full history or facts appeals to radicals on either end of the spectrum. Not being fully educated on an issue will lead to what we see going on in our country. When you see a headline take it with a grain of salt. It is meant to sell papers or get you to watch a news flash for market share while tantalizing your emotions. It is nothing more than sensationalism packaged as real news. Get the back story, research the facts and see who (and how many) are really behind an issue before reacting to it.

Are you up to the task and able to work together before anarchy destroys the best form of government the world has ever created? It is up to all of us to come out of our “comfort zone” and not let any particular group, from any political or ideological faction, create havoc subjecting us to harm and violence for the sake of any cause that undermines our history and experiences, be it good or bad. Remember, you are America. Stand strong against intolerance and the prevailing narrow-mindedness of destructive thought.

For those who will take exception for the sake of discord without serious fact based, not emotional, dialogue you make my case.

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